Since it was discovered last month that the Yoho Beach Resort in Pingtung County’s Kenting National Park had been operating illegally for more than a decade, the Ministry of the Interior has requested that all hotels operating illegally at national parks be investigated. According to a preliminary investigation, the only hotels operating illegally at national parks are all located at Kenting National Park. The report shows that 306 — more than 80 percent — of the 369 hotels and bed and breakfasts operating at the park have not completed the business license application process.
The ministry says that according to statistics from a comprehensive report on the park completed in November of 2011, there were 54 hotels each with 16 rooms or more and 315 bed and breakfasts each with 15 rooms or less doing business at the park. After collating the results with the Pingtung County government’s records, it was found that only nine of the hotels and 54 of the bed and breakfasts were licensed businesses, while the rest had not completed the business registration process.
According to the findings from a preliminary investigation, there are 261 bed and breakfasts and 45 hotels currently operating illegally at the park. Among the 45 hotels, 25 can apply to change their land-use description in order to obtain a hotel business license, two of which have already completed the application process but have not yet registered.
The ministry says that hotels and bed and breakfasts that are not eligible to apply to change their land-use description to obtain licenses will still be fined in accordance with the National Park Act and the Act for the Development of Tourism, adding that it will be trying actively to legally change the land-use description in order to grant hotels business licenses when possible. However, if a business stalls or delays in any way the agency will fine them and businesses that have been built illegally will be demolished in accordance with regulations.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)